Why Are my Gums Bleeding?


Bleeding gums are a common complaint of patients visiting iSmile Dentistry and there can be many potential causes for this. Whilst visibly inflamed and bleeding gums can be distressing; it is important not to panic. Gum disease (gingivitis) is a primary cause of bleeding gums.  This condition can also be caused by a change in oral regime, medications, and pregnancy. Ongoing bleeding should not be ignored and should act as a red flag that something is not right. It is important to book an appointment with your dentist as soon as convenient to identify the problem and seek active treatment.   Healthy gums are important for overall health and well-being.


Why Do Gums Bleed?

The gums serve as a barrier of defence against bacteria, and they help to keep your teeth   in place Healthy gums should be light pink in appearance and firmly wrapped around your teeth.  Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine is essential to ensure your teeth and gums remain in optimal condition.  Improper brushing and flossing techniques will cause excessive plaque build-up and gums to become inflamed. This condition is known as gingivitis and it is the first stage of gum disease. Early detection is the key to successful treatment and with most cases of gingivitis will heal in around 10-14 days post-treatment.


Some people have naturally sensitive gums, which makes them more susceptible to bleeding during brushing and flossing. If this is the case, you will need to learn the correct methods of brushing to minimise the impact on your gums.


Main Causes of Bleeding Gums

Gingivitis (gum disease) – long term plaque and/or calculus build-up causes gums to become swollen and tender. Inflammation can be exacerbated by compromised host immune responses.  It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible, as gingivitis can progress to a more severe form of disease known as periodontitis which may result in tooth extraction and other serious health complications.


Medications – Some types of medications can cause gums to be more susceptible to bleeding. 


Dry Mouth– Whilst dry mouth is often linked to increase in decay risk due to lack of the ability to neutralise the bacterial acid; inflamed and swollen gum tissues are often detected in frequent mouth breathers.  Use of salivary substitutes or other lubricants can help to reduce the irritation from dry mouth.


Pregnancy – Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause gums to swell and become more sensitive, which can make them more susceptible to bleeding during brushing and flossing.


Smoking – smoking can weaken the body’s immune system and increase a person’s risk of gum disease. Smokers also do not heal as well as non-smokers. 


Systemic disease – Gum disease has been linked to several conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease


Helpful Tips To Prevent Gingivitis

  • Follow good oral hygiene – brush and floss twice daily
  • Change to a soft bristled toothbrush, ideally a power brush with pressure sensor
  • Avoid smoking
  • Visit a dentist regularly for preventive care


Worried about Bleeding Gums? Visit iSmile Dentistry Today

Gums should not bleed without a reason. It is important to visit your dentist for routine check-ups, as this will prevent any potential problems and to seek treatment early. To book an appointment, please call 02 9030 4310 today and visit our website for more details.